Financing your MBA degree

11 Oct 2019

The modern world enjoys prospering international trade and provides multiple opportunities for business and management skills’ development. The Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is one of the highest achievements for students and it is also both immensely popular and expensive – the cost of approximately $200,000 or even more for the MBA degree does not stop ambitious people. It is definitely worth all efforts and investments as countless employment opportunities become available and student who obtained this degree literally has all doors in life opened for him or her. Getting a business school scholarship that defrays the cost of the degree will open those doors sooner.

General MBA Scholarships

Many but fortunately not all programs are restricted to specific educational institutions or require adherence to specific requirements. They also differ by type as some MBA scholarships may be focused on helping students facing financial need while others are merit-based and students need to demonstrate excellent academic achievements to be eligible for the award.

There are scholarships that are aimed at supporting underrepresented groups such as minorities and women in the business administration field.

Golden Key International Honour Society’s Graduate Scholar Award

Amount: $10,000.

Deadline: December 1.

This award is given only for members of Golden Key Society; thus, it is better to get acquainted with requirements for membership in the 2-million society of scholars in advance as student’s involvement is one of the crucial criteria. Others are a convincing explanation of future career goals and a record of academic excellence.

Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship

Amount: Multiple award amounts include $1,000, $2,500, $5,000, and $10,000.

Deadline: January 30.

Applicants must be enrolled at accredited colleges or universities on a full-time basis. This scholarship is career-specific and requires students with majors in business administration, accounting, and finance, or criminal justice to demonstrate the intention to work specifically in the anti-fraud field.

QS Leadership Scholarship

Amount: $10,000.

Deadline: April 30.

Those who want to dedicate their career to leadership should consider the QS Leadership scholarship. Applicant must study at a Master's level which is not MBA and it is obligatory to visit any QS event to be eligible for this award – it may be Connect MBA, World Grad School Tour, World MBA Tour, or any other. Finally, the student must already be accepted by an institution so that scholarship will go directly to cover tuition fees when awarded.

Government Finance Officers Association Scholarships

Amount: $5,000, $10,000, and $15,000

Deadline: October 21

Several one-time programs that support future government support officers are available for residents of the U.S. and Canada. Enrollment status for all available programs can be both parts- and full-time on graduate or sometimes upper-level undergraduate level. Noteworthy, many of them do not require previous employment which is good for students who did not have a full-time job yet.

MBA Scholarships for Women

Committee of 200 Scholars Program

Amount: Up to $10,000.

Deadline: Varies and needs to be checked at relevant universities directly.

C200’s programs already awarded almost $1,7 million in scholarships to more than 13,000 female students who pursue their MBA degrees. C200 awards are based on both merits and financial need and are available for students of partner schools both in the U.S. and around the world – currently 82 of them.

Forté MBA Fellowships Program

Amount: Minimum $22.000.

Deadline: January 24.

This program also intends to increase the number of women pursuing an MBA education. Applicants must apply to Forté sponsor schools’ MBA programs and demonstrate exemplary leadership and commitment to the mission of the Forté Foundation via helping women through community involvement or personal mentorship.

Helene M. Overly Memorial Graduate Scholarship

Amount: $3,500.

Deadline: October 25.

Female students in the transportation field who reside in southwestern Washington and Oregon may apply for this one-time scholarship. It is restricted by place of residence but those who are interested in an MBA scholarship should treat this program as representative of numerous specific programs and opportunities for research.

MBA Scholarships for Minorities

NBMBAA Graduate Scholarship Program

Amount: From $3,500 award to full coverage of tuition fees which may be even $100.

Deadline: Significantly varies and depends on university – needs to be checked separately.

Multiple scholarships in universities all over the U.S. are offered by the National Black MBA Association. All students of color can apply and get the chance to pursue an MBA degree at the University of Alabama, University of Florida, Georgia State University, University of San Francisco or other reputable institutions from the list of university partners.

Association of Latino Professionals (ALPFA) Annual Scholarship Program

Amount: Up to $10,000

Deadline: May 15.

Being a member of Student Premium and having Hispanic heritage make students eligible to apply to ALPFA's Academic Scholarship Programs. Applicants must be enrolled full-time in the accredited U.S. institution.

The Reaching Out LGBTQ MBA Fellowship

Amount: $10,000 and $20,000

Deadline: Depends on partner universities – needs to be checked separately in the institution of interest.

Applicants must demonstrate the involvement with an LGBTQ community via presenting LGBTQ leadership roles and active role in initiatives. The application essay must be related to the applicant’s LGBTQ leadership experience. There is no general application as each university partner identifies and selects participants separately.

MBA Scholarships for Military and Veterans

Military MBA Scholarship

Amount: $5,000.

Deadline: September 30 but there are multiple rounds.

Any U.S. resident who served in the military and wants to pursue an MBA degree in one of the member schools – there are almost 30 of them. The required pack of documents is the same as for the other MBA scholarships and includes an online application form, official grade transcripts, and letters of recommendation.

Veterans United Foundation Scholarship

Amount: Up to $50,000.

Deadline: August 28 and September 30 but they will change for a new application period.

Both military service members and their families’ members can benefit from this one-time scholarship. Financial need is more important criteria as preference is given to surviving spouse or child of a deceased military service member or veterans with service-connected disabilities.

Scope of Getting MBA Scholarship Process

Given that MBA scholarships are the desired award for all students who want to enjoy more employment opportunities and increased salary, there are many applicants and everybody must work hard and demonstrate the best results and motivation to convince the admission council that he or she is the best candidate.

The process is usually similar for all scholarship applications. MBA applicants are required to complete an online application form and provide supporting documents that prove student’s eligibility for award: resumes as usually at least 1-year working experience is needed, application essays, official transcripts of academic achievements, minimum two reference letters, and admissions test results if required.

Tips for Fellow Students

  1. Apply as early as you can. No less than four-month are needed to prepare the required package of documents. Even several years might be needed in order to get the most prestigious scholarships since many business schools require full-time working experience. Writing and polishing perfect application essays is also a time-consuming process.
  2. Work on academic achievements. Students must prove that they will be able to cope with demanding MBA curriculum. Measures of academic success while obtaining an undergraduate degree must demonstrate outstanding achievements. It is a good idea to start preparing for MBA since the first year in college.
  3. Pay attention to personal profiles. Not only personal statements and essays must be comprehensive, concise, and fully polished, but multiple letters of recommendation as well. While writing your own statement of purpose or admission essay make sure to cover the requested points precisely.
  4. Increase your chances of having work experience. The application process is already very competitive and MBA admission officers prefer candidates who already developed job skills in the real working environment.
  5. Activities outside the classroom prove that you have leadership skills. They are needed in a business environment so extracurricular activities, volunteering, and involvement in community activities, especially when they received awards or other recognition, will give your application more value.
  6. Carefully choose scholarship and review all edibility criteria. The application will be a waste of time when even one requirement is not met. There are multiple specific programs such as ones for minorities or strictly for members of a certain organization and it might be easier to get them if eligibility criteria are met.
  7. Proofread and double-check everything before applying. No mistakes are allowed. MBA Scholarship programs offer big sums of money and they are looking for the best candidates who are meticulous, reliable and demonstrate real diligence.
  8. Apply to all scholarships you are eligible for. Remember that this is a highly competitive environment and multiple applications increase your chances to obtain the desired award and complete your dream.
  9. Keep copies of applications. Some scholarships are renewable so keeping the copy will make it easier to re-apply.

Other Useful Sources

Multiple applications for various programs increase chances to get the desired scholarship award. Fastweb is the biggest online resource designed for students who are looking for all available scholarships.

This website is affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education and provides useful guides for students who are looking for scholarships to apply to.

A lot of grants and scholarships are collected on this platform to make the search for scholarships easier and faster. All of them are grouped by categories and subjects. All necessary information about deadlines and requirements to follow is included in entries.

It is not only a useful blog and collection of test preparation materials but also a platform where multiple scholarship programs, including MBA ones, are gathered to help students reduce tuition costs.

This resource provides not only useful information on scholarships but also more guides that help to save money or obtain other financial aid.

The MBA degree is a perfect opportunity to succeed in life while working on interesting and useful business projects. It is expensive and students are often afraid of applying to MBA programs due to lack of resources. Scholarships are an excellent solution that helps to alleviate tuition costs and there are many of them. For example, UniGo presents over 3,6 million available scholarships that in total are worth approximately $1,4 billion. Everyone deserves getting the best education and live full students’ life instead of looking for low-paid jobs.